The Soccer Sidelines podcast is about bringing parents, players, and coaches together around the most important aspects of the youth sports experience – and we don’t mean winning games.
Youth sports empowers us to create thousands of teachable moments in the context of a 15-year development window. Kids are open to learning and development in a youth sports environment – physically, mentally, emotionally, and in terms of core character - between the ages of 3 and 18 years old.
The goal of this podcast is to promote enjoyment of the game (and youth sports in general) and to make the most of the gift that Youth Sports gives our families. We hope to help parents, players, and coaches to make the most of the time we have together, and to build a solid platform from which our kids will launch into the world of adulthood.
Returning to Play
At long last, it's time to try to get back to the field. What we're returning to looks very different from what it used to be like before COVID-19, but it's a start. In this episode, let's talk about who's returning to play, how we're returning to play, and take in a good example of return to play guidelines.
Is it Time to Return to Play?
In the World:
* German Bundesliga says that it returned to play May 15th
* English Premiere League announced that it will return to play June 17th
* The Italians Serie A announced that it will return to play on June 20th.
* The French have announced that they will not be returning to play in the near term
In the US:
* NWSL announced on May 27th that it will be returning to play with a 25 game tournament that starts on June 27th.
* USL Championship Board of Governors voted to return to play - target July 11th
* The MLS is targeting early July to return to play while they work through a number of obstacles I talk about in the show.
It looks like the time is now to start stepping carefully back onto the field - with restrictions I talk about in the show that are described in the document in the resources section of the show notes below.
Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon page
* Cadeaux, Ethan, and NBC Sports Washington. “NWSL Announces Return to Play with 25-Team Tournament.” NBC Sports Washington, 27 May 2020, www.nbcsports.com/washington/soccer/soccers-back-nwsl-announces-return-play-25-team-tournament.
* Butler, Alex. “Soccer Return: Messi, Barcelona to Play June 13; Ronaldo, Juventus on June 22.” UPI, UPI, 3 June 2020, www.upi.com/Sports_News/Soccer/2020/06/03/Soccer-return-Messi-Barcelona-to-play-June-13-Ronaldo-Juventus-on-June-22/8021591181655/.
* Gardner, Hayes. “USL Championship's Vote Is Promising First Step in Return to Play.” Journal, Louisville Courier Journal, 4 June 2020, www.courier-journal.com/story/sports/soccer/louisville-city-fc/2020/06/04/loucity-fc-usl-championship-announces-return-play/3146931001/.
* Baxter, Kevin. “MLS Players Union Ratifies Agreement Clearing Way for Return in Early July.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2020, www.latimes.com/sports/soccer/story/2020-06-03/mls-players-union-agree-to-return-to-play-plan.
* “Arizona Soccer Association Return-to-Play Guidelines.” Arizona, www.azsoccerassociation.org/arizona-soccer-association-return-to-play-guidelines-/.
Solidarity Payments in US Soccer
Connect with me: https://thesoccersidelines.com/connect/What are solidarity payments, why do we have them, and how do they work? Do they work at all in the United States? Let's talk through a use case.In this episode, we share some recent news, then jump into the concept of solidarity payments. Specifically, we talk through the case of DeAndre Yedlin, featuring Crossfire Premiere, FIFA, USSF, and the MLS. At the end of this episode, I hope that the concept of solidarity payments (and training compensation) are a little more clear. May 27, 2015 - Shah Alam, Malaysia: Tottenham Hotspurs play the Malaysian Selection soccer team in a friendly match at the Shah Alam Stadium in Malaysia. The English Premier League football club is on their Asia-Australia tour.COVID-19 Impact on the GameWPSL and ODP have both suspended their summer programming & are looking forward to the Fall. Expect to see more delayed openings and Summer impact across the US. As the country re-opens, it will likely be uneven and state or regionally based. The game of soccer is a social game. Not only do we have 22 players on the field, but we have active and very social sidelines. Part of the joy of the game is playing and chatting with others in concentrated fields and sideline environments. It'll be impossible to do social distancing with players and nearly impossible to social distance on the sidelines. Kids are at home and many are not working out regularly. A big question in my mind as a coach, is how can we keep our kids engaged and active? This is when super coaching and parental support can play a big role. Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon pageWhat is Training Compensation?From MLCSoccer.com: "Under the FIFA Regulations, when a player registers as a professional for the first time in a country other than the one where he did his training, the club with which he registers is responsible for paying Training Compensation to every club that contributed to his training, starting from the season of his 12th birthday through the season of his 21st birthday. Additionally, Training Compensation is due on a player’s subsequent international transfer through the season of his 23rd birthday to his immediately prior professional club."These exist as a way to incentivize youth clubs to do their best at developing players, to invest in the development environment, and to earn some rewards for the effort. The US system is largely paid for by parents, sponsorships, and charitable donations. Is it fair for US-based clubs to also get training compensation and/or solidarity payments? Is this "double dipping" or getting paid twice to develop youth, or is this a system we should consider embracing - possibly phasing out high family costs? What are Solidarity Payments in US Soccer?From MLSsoccer.com: "Under the FIFA Regulations, any time that a professional player is transferred (whether on a temporary or on a permanent basis) from a club in one FIFA member association (i.e., a federation) to a club in another federation during the course of his contract, up to five percent of the transfer fee is to be withheld and paid by the club receiving the player proportionally to the club(s) involved in that player’s training during the years between his 12th and 23rd birthdays. Unlike Training Compensation, which is only paid for players who have not yet reached the end of their age-23 season,
2020 Senior Prom MASKquerade
In this episode, post a thank you sign for essential workers, host a MASKquerade, and check in on the DA and ODP. From senior graduating without a prom or even a formal graduation to players finding new homes after being displaced from the DA, I cover several topics in an informal discussion format made specially for these Pandemic times.
Share Your Wisdom with High School Seniors!
I'm asking you to help me assemble an audio mosaic for 2020 graduating high school seniors. Would you wish them well? Offer them wisdom from your own experience? Visit the tab above, click the orange button about half way down the page, and leave a short comment or wisdom. I will assemble our comments together for our graduating seniors and post a Bonus episode just for them!
If you don't want to leave a voice message, write me instead! All of my contact info is listed on this page.
Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon page
Our MASKquerade Photo Shoot
6' of separation? No problem! Wear a mask in public? No problem! We managed to put together a 2020 prom photo shoot in the midst of a global pandemic!
These young ladies looked great and they had some fun with the default theme of the year!
Masks are in fashion this year, and hopefully won't be back for any future prom season, so why not embrace the situation as it is and make it fun?! There was a lot of giggles and laughter under these masks. We even had some fun with a jail theme!
Is ODP Still a Thing?
Yes! ODP is still producing world class players who are emerging on the world stage. If playing soccer on a US Olympic team is your thing, then it's definitely worth a look!
What's Going on With DA Players
Since the DA was shut down, some have opted to raft together and start a new league called the Girl's Academy (GA). Others have decided to join ECNL. Others will go on to join US Youth Soccer and/or the Olympic Development Program (ODP). The key is to stay humble and keep playing!
Essential Employee Gratitude Project Update
After several meetings, our Club's project leadership team has decided to create signs with open space on them. Families will be encouraged to contribute to our fundraising effort and "sponsor" a sign or multiple signs. Families will be encouraged to decorate the signs with messages of thanks and to post thee signs throughout our community in thanks for essential worker's service.
Any additional money collected will be turned into meals for essential workers in various favorite locations around our community.
What kinds of projects are you workin on in your community? Please share some of the good ideas you're seeing and tell us how it's going!
US Soccer Development Academy Shuts Down
It is official. US Soccer has shut down the US Soccer Development Academy effective immediately. This is officially due to "...extraordinary and unexpected circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic...” but SoccerWire and other news outlets suggest that there is more to the story.
Rumors, articles, social media, and blog posts have been circulating for days. Let's talk about it.
Rumor is Confirmed
On April 11th, 2020, SoccerWire carried an article titled: "Opinion: COVID-19 provides US Soccer opportunity to shut down Development Academy." This hit my Twitter feed first, and as you know, I almost reported it to you in Episode 124, but I held it back because at that stage it was still a rumor. I couldn't find any solid evidence that this was definitely going to happen and didn't want to use this show to spread rumors. We talked instead about being critical about the news we're seeing today.
It's no longer a rumor. One hour after I published Episode 124, US Soccer announced that it was closing the US Soccer Development Academy for good. The reason they cited in the letter they released was "...extraordinary and unexpected circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic...”
I've been around too long to believe the publicly released reasons for just about anything of significance going on are the whole story. There is always more to things than the public story. So I started to dig in.
Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon page
Contributing factors to closing the US Soccer Development Academy
The SoccerWire article lists four potential reasons for shutting down the US Soccer Development Academy (DA). I've listed them here for your convenience, but be sure to read the full article for the rest of the story and context.
* The Girls DA has never taken hold as the nation’s most elite league, and has recently been losing very strong clubs back to ECNL. Having talent split between two leagues is definitely inhibiting development of the most elite players, and there is no solution in sight for getting the best players and clubs in the same environments anytime soon. This would solve that problem overnight.
* The Boys DA has become more a story of Major League Soccer run, cost-free academies; and then the best of the rest for years. While the top boys’ talent plays in the DA if there’s a club near their homes, every year U.S. Soccer makes some type of adjustments to the competition structure and schedule. And MLS clubs have long been rumored to be on the verge of staging a break-a-away league all their own anyway.
* Cost – U.S. Soccer spends around $9 Million on the DA’s per year, and gets little but grief for most of their investments. With an all new management team at the top of the Federation, and the very real likelihood of an 8-figure financial settlement on the way with the U.S. Women’s National Team, cutting bait now would remove a lot of distractions and sure up what may become much-needed cash in the coming years, before the expected windfalls of the 2026 World Cup.
* Equality – Reference the issues with the Girls DA lagging far behind the boys’ version in their efforts to consolidate talent.
Essential Workers and Bad Information
There are two big things worth paying closer attention to today: 1. the great things people are doing during this crisis. 2. The proliferation of bad, incomplete, politically motivated, or deliberately incorrect information being shared all over our news outlets and social media channels. Gratitude changes everything - handwriting on a napkin with a cup of espresso coffeeSome Great Things Are Being DoneDavid Barbour from FC Copa is a listener of the show and has responded to episode #122 that I did three weeks ago titled "What can we do during the COVID-19 Crisis?" Listen to David talk about what he and the folks at FC Copa are doing to support their community during this pandemic crisis. Jen Anderson, Nabil Chehab, and Matt Kendall from the Damascus Soccer Club are spearheading an essential worker thank you campaign that includes signs, fundraising and meals for those putting their lives on the line for us so we can have essential products and services. Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon pageSegment Two: Bad Information and RumorsI was nearly duped into delivering you a rumor instead of factual news. It made me reflect on the proliferation of bad information, mis information, and disinformation. This is a big problem when it is fueled by fear, greed, and politics. We're in an election year. We are steeped in fear about the virus and a growing fear about the economy. We are surrounded by wolves trying to make a buck off of our fear. Now, it is more important than ever to be critical about what is being said, who is saying it, what their motivations may be, and what is not being said. Resources* Boehm, Charles. “US Soccer Adds Another Issue with Development Academy Split.” US Soccer Players, 9 Aug. 2019, ussoccerplayers.com/2019/08/us-soccer-adds-another-issue-with-development-academy-split.html.
The World is Changing for Good
Human history is like a book with many chapters. Every generation writes their piece and leaves their mark. Some chapters are uneventful and boring. Our chapter is not. The early part of the century brought us the Spanish Flu, the Golden Age, World War I, and the Great Depression. The middle of the century brought us World War II, the Holocaust, The Desert Fox, Vietnam, America's first orchestrated coup of a foreign country, Woodstock, free love, and bell bottoms. The later part of the century brought a break from the Gold standard, the S&L crisis, The Tax Reform Act, NAFTA, Desert Storm, bank failures, Cabbage Path Kids, and the a presidential impeachment. So far, the 2000's have brought Y2K, 9/11 , more Desert Storm, more coups, global warming, the 2008 mortgage crisis, another impeachment, BREXIT, bank failures, the Patriot Act, and most recently, a black swan called COVID-19. COVID-19 is unique in that it has profoundly impacted the entire world and it was utterly unexpected by world leaders, markets, or working citizens everywhere. This one event is likely to leave its mark on the world for generations to come. Our kids and grandkids will be talking about the Global Pandemic. We're making history, and the decisions we make and actions we take now matter. The World is Changing for "Good"Of course, we see lots of bad stuff going on. First off, a global pandemic that has the characteristics of COVID-19 is bad. Being locked up in our homes and restricted from socializing is bad. Not being able to work and bring in income is bad. But you don't need come to this show to talk about the bad stuff. It's everywhere. Even where things are not that bad, the fact that humans generally don't like change amplifies the bad in the changes we're experiencing. It is possible to find some good stuff if we look. For every negative, there is a positive (and vice versa), because nature exists in balance. I've listed at least five things that are changing in our world. I suspect each of these things are changing for good. Of course, I recognize that they will change again sometime down the road, but there are some things that exist in different form before COVID-19 and after COVID-19. Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon pageFive Ways the World is Changing* Social Distancing and the behaviors discovered and refined during social distancing are here to stay. We're not going to stay 6 feet from one another forever, but we will be thinking about vectors of transmission and about new ways of connecting will stick around. * Technology is taking amore prominent role in our lives. The learning curve for adoption of some technologies like video conferencing is forced upon us. This will mean more of this technology in the future - along with the behaviors (like telework) that are enabled by these technologies. * We're finding community again! Community becomes a lot more important when we need one another. At times like Global pandemics, information exchange, social outreach, and appreciating one another are all going up. * The environment is getting cleaner! People are seeing fish in the water in Venice! The sky is turning blue again! The fact that we're not rushing around so much as the world is changing is having a positive effect on the environment. * Families are being stress tested. Some families are buckling under the pressure, but many families are finding new ways to appreciate and support one another. Always two sides to every coinOne the one side, we're seeing the negatives of the fact that the world is changing: forfeiture of human rights and privacy, death and pain from disease, financial ruin for many families and small business owners, etc. On the other side,
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I’m a player and this is so helpful because it goes so in-depth about the game and lifestyle.
Excellent Explanation of Futsal
I didn't know this about the game before. I do now!